About Aid Watch
The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.
"Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking." - H.L. Mencken
Category Archives: Military aid
A recent Christian Science Monitor article reported that USAID is “losing hearts and minds” in Afghanistan’s northeastern Badakshan province because of failed and shoddy projects, corruption, secrecy and waste. Given how much of the US aid budget is spent trying to make the world a safer and more secure place for Americans, you might think[…..]
This post is by Adam Martin, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI. On July 1 the Department of Defense rolled out two notable new projects that will undoubtedly inaugurate a new era of peace and safety for the streets of Gotham international community. Even the world’s greatest detective could not have seen this coming. Like their[…..]
The New York Times had a front pager today on a story that this blog (twice: Dec 22, 2009 and Dec 12, 2009 ) and other blogs has been all over for months — the use of nonsensical Powerpoint slides to guide the US military in Afghanistan. The NYT reproduced the infamous Afghan nation-building spaghetti chart over most of[…..]
Short clip: From Twitter: @undispatch: @bill_easterly instead of trying to be funny, can you actually explain your beef with peacekeeping? Well, @undispatch, if you click on the category, “aid goes military” at the bottom of this post, you will get more than you probably want to hear from this blog on this topic. You are[…..]
What do Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp, and L-3 Communications Inc. have in common? Yes, all are top 10 Pentagon contractors. But they are also increasingly winning lucrative government contracts to implement “smart power” or “nation-building” programs—like educating peacekeeping troops in human-rights law, sending anthropologists to Afghanistan to understand local culture, mentoring Liberian prosecutors[…..]
Hillary Clinton recently declared: “We are working to elevate development and integrate it more closely with defense and diplomacy in the field…The three Ds must be mutually reinforcing.” Clinton says that the 3D approach will elevate development to the level of diplomacy and defense. Unfortunately, it could instead lower development further to an instrument employed to achieve[…..]
1) “State failure” is leading to confused policy making. For example, it is causing the military to attempt overly ambitious nation-building and development to approach counter-terrorism, under the unproven assumption that “failed states” produce terrorism. 2) “State failure” has failed to produce any useful academic research in economics. You would expect a major concept to[…..]
News sources say that President Obama will choose “escalate” with additional troops for Afghanistan in his speech at West Point tonight. I and many like-minded individuals find this disastrous. “Like-minded” means that critics of top-down state plans for economic development are also not fans of top-down state plans for military development. If the Left likes[…..]
There has been a remarkable escalation in the scale and intrusiveness of aid interventions over the years (this was one of the major conclusions of my survey paper on aid to Africa).
It seems to be reaching the reductio al absurdum in the current debate on whether to escalate US intervention in Afghanistan.
Let’s review the record:
The following is the text of an email I received today after asking Lieutenant General William Caldwell IV for comment as one of the authors of the United States Army’s Manual with some economic development ideas that I criticized: Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: FOUO Dear Dr. Easterly, LTG Caldwell is currently on personal leave and not[…..]